Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

How protecting human rights can help us increase our Global Health Impact

As the COVID-19 pandemic surges across the world, justice and equality demand our attention. Does everyone have a human right to health and to access new essential medicines researchers develop? Can pharmaceutical companies patent the medicines and charge high prices, selling them to whoever can pay the most? How can data help us address global […] The post How protecting human rights can help us increase our Global Health Impact appeared first on OUPblog.         Related StoriesDo you feel sorry for first year university students?The role of masculinity in reforming police departmentsThe reconversion of Hagia Sophia in [More]

Perfect Analogy Fallacy

In the ongoing ideological battle, I have been using arguments by analogy to defend governmental mask requirements. My silly comparison is to laws against public nudity. My serious comparisons are to such things as automobile safety laws and regulations governing food handling. After engaging in discussions with people who disagree with me, I have been [More]

Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 9

Today’s chapter is about ‘Expressing and capturing the primitive recursive functions’. We prove (in reasonable detail) that although the language of basic arithmetic only has the successor, addition and multiplication functions built in, we can in fact form a wff … Continue reading → The post Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 9 appeared first on Logic [More]

Against Prudish Research Ethics

We're all familiar with prudishness as it applies to sexual ethics: the prude thinks certain sex acts are immoral, even between happily consenting adults.  They also hold that sex work is inherently degrading, and that others should not be allowed to offer monetary compensation in exchange for one's sexual labour.  The prude is not willing to tolerate others engaging in consensual and mutually beneficial exchanges in this arena if they don't stem from what the prude regards as the "right" motivations and take place within "approved" institutional arrangements (e.g. marriage).  It's a deeply illiberal perspective that has thankfully fallen out of favour in recent decades.  We may, of course, have reasonable concerns about the exploitation of sex workers in practice.  But it's increasingly recognized that the best response to such practical concerns is to improve the options available to those in desperate circumstances, not to deprive them of (what they evidently regard as) their current best option.  So I think it's fair to say that liberals have won out over sexual prudes in our current cultural milieu.Sadly, the reverse appears true within the arena of research ethics.  Research prudes think that certain kinds of medical research (e.g. involving voluntary infection) are unethical, even when all involved are happily consenting adults.  They disapprove of offering monetary compensation to research participants, to make [More]

Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 8

I’ll be briefer than usual, though today’s attached episode is longer than usual. After a short Interlude (where we’ve been, where we are going), there’s a quite substantial chapter ‘Primitive Recursive Functions’.  And there’s a nice diagonal argument to enjoy! The post Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 8 appeared first on Logic [More]

Trump & American War Dead

The Atlantic recently published a piece claiming that Trump described Americans killed in was as ‘losers’ and ‘suckers.’ Trump has denied these claims and his supporters have rushed to defend him. As would be expected, people trend to believe or reject the claims based on their ideology rather than on considerations of the evidence. I [More]